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Champions League Betting: How 250/1 Ajax defied the odds to reach the semi-finals

16:02 BST 18/04/2019
Matthijs de Ligt Ajax 2018-19
The Eredivisie side have beaten Real Madrid and Juventus on their way to the final four, where they will meet Spurs for a place in Madrid on June 1

Whilst Barcelona vs Liverpool was a Champions League semi-final that perhaps some people would have seen coming, Ajax vs Tottenham probably wasn't.

Spurs’ victory over Manchester City on away goals following a 4-3 loss at the Etihad Stadium was nothing short of spectacular, and a correct score bet would have paid out at 66/1 (67.0) with bet365.

However, it is Ajax’s run to the final four that has captured the hearts of many, with the Dutch side’s outright odds shortening from 250/1 (251.0) pre-tournament all the way down to just 9/2 (5.50) ahead of the semis.

After finishing second in Group E behind Bayern Munich, who they drew 3-3 with in their final group game, Ajax were paired with reigning champions Real Madrid and were still 150/1 (151.0) to win the tournament.

Even without Cristiano Ronaldo, Real could still be a deadly force. That proved to be the case in the first leg as the Spaniards justified their 6/5 (2.20) pre-match odds to take a 2-1 lead back to Madrid.

Ajax - now out at 200/1 (201.0) - refused to lay down and roll over by pulling off one of the most shocking upsets in recent memory as Dusan Tadic inspired them to a stunning 4-1 victory in the Spanish capital.

Erik ten Hag’s men were 18/5 (4.60) to win that game and out at 9/2 (5.50) to qualify, with a 4-1 away victory priced at 50/1 (51.0). bet365 shortened them to 25/1 (26.0) in the outright betting but that price did not last long.

Just over a week later the price went back out to 40/1 (41.0) thanks to being drawn against Juventus, who emerged from their last 16 clash against Atletico courtesy of a Ronaldo hat-trick.

Juve were installed as 9/25 (1.36) favourites to make the semi-finals whilst Ajax could be backed at 2/1 (3.0), and that price drifted out 49/20 (3.45) following a 1-1 draw at the Johan Cryuff Arena.

It looked to be all over bar the shouting when Ronaldo headed home in the first half of the second leg to make it 1-0, but the 33-time Eredivisie champions scored twice without reply to pull off a stunning win.

That shortened them to 7/1 (8.0) in the outright betting, still some way behind the likes of Barcelona and Manchester City, but the latter’s elimination on Wednesday caused Ajax to be cut to 9/2 (5.50).

bet365 go 11/5 (3.20) that Ajax win the first leg at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium and 10/11 (1.91) to qualify, with Tottenham also available to make it to the final at the same price. 

Odds correct at the time of publish. Please gamble responsibly.

Check out the latest Champions League odds at bet365